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Okay, the full title of this post should be “Fully Equipped Kitchen on the Beach,” because that is far more accurate when talking about the Hale Ola Guest House. But I went with the shorter title, since that’s the main point of this blog. ☺
As you know, it’s May Munchie Madness this month. So what better way to talk about the munchies than to mention that you don’t have to stay in a hotel! After all, hotels offer you a bedroom with a bathroom. Not much space at all really. But if you want to be able to make your own food whenever you want in the privacy of your own home-away-from-home, then this is the house for you. Hale Ole’s Guest House has a fully equipped kitchen that is just perfect for the foodie on the go.
The cabinets are a beautiful white that offsets the countertops perfectly. And, not only is the ambiance nice, but the kitchen is set up with a coffee maker, tea pot, blender, microwave, oven, dishes, utensils, pots, pans, serving trays, and everything else you’ll need to cook whatever you want. That is what I mean by “fully equipped kitchen.” We’re talking about all of the comforts of cooking at home, along with a beautiful window that features the one thing you can’t see from your kitchen at home: the beach!
Yeah, I suppose I should tell you about the rest of the house, right? That’s only fair. Well, this guest house is on the property of another house, which must be rented separately. But the property more than makes up for the shared space. This house is right on the water! Seriously, you can open your door and walk across the lawn to the beach. It’s that easy. Just wait until you see it. While this might not be a largest house in the world, it’s location makes it worth its weight in gold.
In addition to a great kitchen and beachfront placement, this home sleeps 4 comfortably, with two bedrooms equipped with king-sized beds. Plus, it comes with some great amenities like cable TV, DVD player, stereo with CD player, high quality furnishings, hardwood floors, and more. And while you can probably find a nice hotel on the beach, let’s face it – it will cost you a fortune. You might be spending close to $1,000 a night just on a room with a bathroom! But with this rental home, you get the comforts of home located right on the beach for only $2,400 a WEEK! (Not a night, folks. A week! That’s 7 days of staying in the best place on earth for only $2,400!)
Okay, back to the kitchen. ☺ Because this house is located in Hanalei, you will also be very close to a shopping center, several smaller shops, a farmer’s market, and more. So you will be able to go out daily and pick up fresh fruits and vegetables (grown right here on the island), fresh fish (caught right here on the island), and anything else you desire. And then you can come back to the house and cook!
OR, if you don’t really feel like cooking for the evening, you can always stay in town and enjoy one of the great restaurants, frequented by locals and visitors alike. Don’t you want to give this place a chance? With your family, or together with another couple, you could make this place into a dream vacation get-away.
Today, I’m craving tacos. Seriously. It’s bad. It’s a big craving. Tacos. Mmmmmmm.
The problem, as some of you may know, is that I’m dieting. I’m supposed to eat only healthy, organic, locally grown vegetables and a bit of lean meat. And so I’m sitting here, at my computer, longing for tacos while eating carrots and pouting.
My solution? Tell you all about my favorite place in Hanalei to get tacos! Then, you all can go out and eat tacos for me and I can live vicariously through you. Okay? Good. It’s settled then. Let me introduce you to Pat’s Taqueria.
Okay, first off, I know that Taquerias typically sound much more authentic without the name Pat attached. I get that. But if you think that detracts from the amazing flavors of a Pat’s taco, then you are gravely mistaken. The tacos here are a local craving, and just about all tourists who try them end up falling in love. They are that good.
Now, this place is a lunch truck located near Black Pot Beach Park. (Yes, I’m sending you to a food truck. But it’s cool. Trust me.) Ask any resident of Kauai and they will tell you exactly where to go. Because they all know what I know – these tacos are good. But here are some things you might need to know to eat here:
1. Because this is a big favorite, get here early for lunch. They serve one meal a day (except Sundays) and they start at noon. The line forms before then. So if you want to eat sometime around noon, get there about 15 minutes early or so.
2. You will probably meet more people here than anywhere else you go. Seriously, a lot of residents eat here on their lunch breaks, and tourists learn that this place is fabulous pretty quickly. So if you want to make some new friends, this is the place to go.
3. Tacos will cost you $4-$5 apiece. This will seem a bit pricey… until you see them. The portions are good. The first tacos, for instance, have big pieces of fresh ono, grilled to perfection and served in a warm tortilla. You won’t be hungry later. You will be happy. These are good tacos.
Pat’s Taqueria is definitely one of my favorite places to grab lunch. And my favorite things to order are the pork tacos. Seriously, Kalua Pig in a heaven-sent tortilla is a wonderful treat. I could eat 10 of them, which is why I’m staying safely in my house and talking about them instead of driving over to eat there. (Carrots are good too. Keep eating carrots, self.)
So if you are on Kauai and want tacos, please don’t go to some expensive restaurant or try to find a Taco Bell. Come to Hanalei and eat real food. And when you leave our shores, you will leave happy.
So, every few posts or so on this blog, I throw in some information about local vacation homes for rent. This way, if you are reading along and my words are convincing you to come visit, you will know about all of the good places to stay! It’s my service to you. ☺ And that’s why I’m going to tell you about Hale Ylang Ylang in Hanalei.
Now, this month is all about food for me. (Yes, mostly food I can’t have now that I’m on a diet, but still…) And so I wanted to showcase a gorgeous house that also had a fully set-up kitchen and was a short walk away from some nice restaurants. Hale Ylang Ylang is that vacation home.
Actually, it’s a town house, located right near Hanalei Bay. The view is beautiful, which is probably why the house has so many large windows. In fact, the dining room has a long table situated between two extremely large, wide windows. The result is the feeling that you are eating outside in a tropical garden.
And the house itself is exquisite. I know that’s an odd word to use for a house, but this house has such appeal for me. It has hardwood floors, wood paneling that offsets the lighter shades of furniture, a quaint little stairway, a cozy window seat (really more of a window bed) with a bookshelf, and intricate little details that make it all at once cute, spacious, light, respectable, and perfect for any family.
There are two master bedrooms downstairs with King-sized beds, private bathrooms, and all of the privacy you could want. So you could bring your best friends and easily have enough space. Plus, there is an outdoor shower for after swimming in the ocean, cable tv, a DVD player, high speed internet, a washer/dryer unit, and, most importantly, a kitchen to drool over.
The kitchen has granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, a small island for prepping dinner, and all of the equipment you’ll need to make a great meal. All it’s missing is some food, which local markets can easily provide. And speaking of local markets, now we’re getting into the heart of this post: walking distance.
This town house is walking distance from town. That means you’ll be walking distance from a great beach, yes. But it also means that you will be walking distance from several stores, a farmer’s market, and a bunch of wonderful restaurants that serve great food all year round! In other words, you will not only have a great kitchen for cooking your own gourmet meals, but you can also go out to eat at a number of gourmet restaurants without having to rent a car!
So, if you like food the way that I do (or if you just like being incredibly close to a beach and a great shopping center), then choose Hale Ylang Ylang for your next vacation rental here on Kauai. You will absolutely love it!
Yes, I’m still on my diet. But tonight my fiancée took me to an amazing restaurant and I couldn’t help but eat a full plate of food. Now, I know what you’re thinking. No restaurant is worth breaking your diet and getting fat, right? Well, I’m not so sure about that. This place was really good.
Now, I might have written about this place before. I can’t remember at the moment. (It’s almost 2:30am.) But even if I have, I’m going to write about it again. It’s worth it.
We went to Mediterranean Gourmet, one of the nicest restaurants on the island, especially if you enjoy gourmet cooking. And considering they have won a Hale Aina Award every year since they opened, I have no doubt that a lot of people like to eat gourmet food. ☺ Now, if it helps, they have some wonderfully healthy choices on their menu. Not everything is smothered in cream sauce and butter. In fact, many menu items are just the right ingredients, placed together to create new flavors that will surprise your palette.
My finance had reservations for 7:30, but we missed them. (Reservations are pretty important at this place, as they have a large following of food lovers.) But when we got there at 9pm, there were openings, so we got right in.
And then I saw the menu.
You know, this menu is a delight even on a day I’m not dieting. But when you walk into a restaurant after eating only a morning smoothie, a handful of nuts, a salad, and a few carrots, this place is like dining in heaven. I mean, right off the bat, you see the appetizers menu with their hand rolled Spinach Fatayers and Spanikopita. Oh and their Babaganush is SO good, and I say this after hating eggplant as a child. But then you see the rest of the menu and you fall into a happy state of food envy.
Don’t worry everyone – I was pretty good. I stuck with half a salad and some fish. Of course, it was a Fattoush Salad with little pita bread bits crumbled on top. (Amazing!) And I guess the fish was pan in sesame oil and tasted even better with the goat cheese, grape tomatoes, and dates it came with. So I technically *could* have eaten better if I’d wanted to. But I think I should get some credit. After all, I could have eaten at a fast food place, right? At least this way, I ate extremely well and filled myself with real food.
My fiancée didn’t help. He got the rack of lamb with garlic mashed potatoes and ate it right in front of me. It was like torture… or it would have been if my food hadn’t been so very good.
So, as you can see, there are some wonderful places to eat here on our island, especially if you aren’t on a diet. This Mediterranean gourmet fare is a real treat, a perfect place to take the one you love while on Kauai. And it’s right here in Hanalei! So eat the food, enjoy the ambiance, and savor ever bite. It’s worth it.
We live on an island, so there are MANY beaches to choose from when you visit. Some have great reputations, some are exclusive, some are remote, some are well-populated, and some are just plain awesome.
So when you are choosing a beach to visit, it’s important to keep a few basic questions in mind.
1. Does it have a lifeguard? As I’ve mentioned before, lifeguards can help keep you and your family safe. So if you have the choice, always choose a lifeguarded beach.
2. Do you have children? There are some beaches with lots of activity and big waves and then there are beaches that have calmer waters and fewer people. The beaches in that second category are typically better for families with small children.
3. How well can you swim? Again, beaches with large waves and no lifeguards should be avoided, especially by those of you who do not swim exceedingly well. Each beach is different, and conditions change quickly. So if you are a bad swimmer, avoid the ocean.
4. What does the weather report say today? Each day you plan to go out into the water, check the Kauai Explorer website. Why? Well, conditions change often. Beaches that were perfectly safe yesterday might have large waves and choppy waters today. And knowledge is power.
Okay, so you know what questions to ask, but you might not know anything about the beaches! I can help with that. After all, I live here. ☺
Hanalei Bay Beach Park – Hanalei Bay is one of the most beautiful spots on Hawaii. Typically, when tourists visit our island, it’s to see this beautiful bay. And that is why lifeguards are on duty in this area. The beach is large and stretches all the way around the half-moon bay. For this reason, there is a lot of ground to cover for the lifeguards, which is why I recommend that you and your family set up your towels near the guard towers. And keep in mind that the ocean is not tame in this area, which makes it great for some water sports like surfing but also means you must use caution.
Kee Beach – This is also a lifeguard protected beach and is very near Hanalei Bay. But because of the natural arrangement of water obstructions, it’s much safer than the Bay. This beach is considered a great beach for swimming and snorkeling, so enjoy. But it also has strong currents, sharp coral, slippery rocks, and breaking waves. So please use caution.
Haena Beach Park – Like Kee Beach, this beach is good for snorkeling and swimming, due to the natural arrangement of water obstructions. And this beach has a lifeguard station, so if something goes wrong, a rescue will be forthcoming. It’s also very close to Hanalei Bay.
Anini Beach – Anini beach is considered a good swimming and snorkeling beach because of the natural obstructions in the water. However, there are NO lifeguards on duty here, so I do not recommend visiting this spot. There is, however, a protected swimming area and facilities nearby. So if you watch your family like a hawk, it’s a good place to let your small children put their feet in the water.
Kauapea Beach – Just like Anini beach, there are NO lifeguards on duty. There are also no obstructions, so the water tends to come fast and large. Honestly, I would completely avoid this beach with my family.
Lumahai Beach – There are no lifeguards on duty at this beach and the currents are really really strong. So, if you want to get in the water, avoid this beach. However, if you want to see the pretty spot where they filmed the “wash that man right out of my hair” song from South Pacific, enjoy but stay on the sand.
Also, keep in mind that the North Shore gets large swells during the months of September through May. So if you are visiting within the next month or two, check often on the Kauai Explorer website and check the wave heights before visiting any beach. Also, keep your eyes out for lifeguard warning signs as you swim. Enjoy!
Family vacations should be relaxing, right? When I was a child, we would fly to the mainland and drive around, seeing the sights. The problem was that my brother and I fought all the time and we drove our parents crazy. After several days cooped up together in the car, everyone was ready to go home. It wasn’t relaxing. In fact, to this day I have no idea why my parents always decided to take road trips.
Maybe that’s why I love the Hale Ylang Ylang vacation rental home so much. I remember those family road trips and think of this rental as a little piece of heaven in a tropical paradise. Let me explain.
This vacation rental sleeps four, so a typical American family can stay here easily. However, unlike traveling together in a car or staying in a small hotel room, this vacation rental home has plenty of space. The two bedroom suites both have King sized beds and their own bathrooms, so there won’t be problems sharing. The living room has plenty of seating, lots of room, and several high-end electronics to play with, including high speed wireless internet for laptop users. And the fully equipped gourmet kitchen has tons of counter space, including an island counter and bar stools for socializing with the cook.
For meal times, you can cook at home and eat in the dining room. You can also eat in the living room while watching a fun movie or have your kids eat at the bar while sitting on bar stools. If the day is nice (and let’s face it – this is a tropical island so the chances of “nice” are good), you can eat outside on your own private and protected patio (called a lanai). Or, if you are sick of staying indoors, you can go out to eat at one of the many local restaurants! After all, Hale Ylang Ylang is only a short walk into town.
So what about amenities? Will there be enough to do? The answer is a definite yes. You see, Hale Ylang Ylang is right near the water. Have you heard of the famous Hanalei Bay? Well, it’s just a short stroll from the house. In fact, you can see the Bay from the upstairs windows! And, if you spend the day at the beach and become covered in sand, you can rinse off in the handy outdoor shower.
This vacation rental has cable TV, DVD and CD players, high speed internet, a gourmet kitchen, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer unit, a window seat, a private patio, a hardwood floor, granite countertops, comfortable furniture, and more. In fact, I think I can safely say that it has everything you will need for a comfortable and relaxing vacation here on Kauai.
Okay, my last post was about a luxurious rental home for those visiting Kauai. But that got me thinking about the last time I, as a resident, treated myself to a bit of luxury. And, other than some fantastic dates with my finance this last year, I haven’t really given luxury a lot of thought until walking into Anahola Aloha Beach House last week. That has got to change!
Now, why must this change? Well, first of all, I deserve a bit of luxury. I think we all do. I work hard, play hard, deal with struggles, volunteer in my community, raise awareness and money for local charities and good causes, and try to be a busy bee each and every day. And I think that deserves some pampering, don’t you?
And you deserve some pampering as well, right? I mean, think of all the things you do in a day. Maybe you’re a mom and you spend the day cleaning up messes, chasing a toddler, or helping with homework. (Moms don’t get time off. They run a 24/7 business and they get worn out!) Or maybe you’re a businessman who spends time looking over facts, figures, paperwork, and meeting schedules. You work hard to guarantee your business (or the business you work for) runs smoothly and makes money. That takes effort and causes stress! OR maybe you are retired, but you worked for 30+ years supporting your family, making wise choices, and not taking time for yourself. Don’t you deserve to make the most of your life right now?
Yes. Yes you do.
And when I think about it, if you are coming to Kauai and you want to stay in a luxury home, then you will probably want to experience a bit of luxury while you’re out and about as well. So I recommend taking a spa day.
The Hanalei Day Spa is located at the Hanalei Colony Resort, which is super easy to find if you are staying on the North Shore. The spa is located along the beachfront and is surrounded by lush vegetation and white sandy beaches. And there are myriad spa services to choose from, giving each individual exactly what they need to relax and rejuvenate.
So what are those services? Well, you can have a body massage, relieving your muscles of pent up stress and turning your back into jelly. Or you can improve your skin by getting a body scrub to open up your pores and cleanse away toxins. You can increase your flexibility and stretch away the exhaustion and strain of the day with a private yoga class. Or you can simply relax and snooze away the day in a body wrap.
Of course, there are many more services offered by the Hanalei Day Spa, and the things I mentioned are just the starting mark. But I think I’ve made my point. Don’t you deserve some pampering? I know I do.
Have you ever been watching a movie and you recognize the landscape from something or somewhere else? For instance, I was once watching a sci-fi movie and saw these redwoods that I recognized from a trip I took to California. It was neat. For some reason, finding an identifiable landmark was really fun for me and it made the movie that much better.
Well, around here, that happens quite a bit. The Kauai landscape has been pictured in several films and television shows over the years, from famous scenes to little known moments. Want to know which movies I’m talking about? Well, let me tell you! (No, I won’t be listing them all. There isn’t enough room for 70+ movie references. But I’ll do my best.)
Jurassic Park is probably the most famous movie to be filmed on Kauai. I can’t even tell you about the number of people who go on the helicopter tour and come back saying, “Wasn’t that whole mountainside used in Jurassic Park?!?” Yes. Yes it was. Waimea Canyon was used in the first Jurassic Park film back in 1993. It gave instant fame to an already famous landmark here on the island.
Now, how about a musical or two? Have you ever seen South Pacific? Because that movie was filmed mostly on Kauai. In fact, being from the Northern region of Kauai, I can tell you that a majority of South Pacific was filmed right here in Hanalei! (Talk about living in a well-known town.) And, if we can consider Elvis Presley films to be musicals, you might also be interested to know that the film “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” was filmed here as well.
Need a list of more recent films? Well, did you see Soul Surfer? I loved that movie, and it was filmed here on Kauai as well. (I told you that we had beautiful sandy beaches that are just perfect for surfing!) And “The Descendants” was filmed here as well, back in November 2011. (I would have paid big money to have met George Clooney that year.) And even parts of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was filmed here! (Jonny Depp… *sigh*)
Of course, there were many more films shot here along our lovely shores, from “Six Days, Seven Nights” to “King Kong.” But the point is that Kauai has been featured several times in film. Why? Because it’s pristine, gorgeous, exciting, tropical, and fantastic. And the best part: You can visit whenever you want!
So why not come and visit. You can tour the island, see the famous landmarks, and even enjoy the ambiance. And while you’re here, you can sample the great food, beaches, and water sports. Throw in a tanning session on the beach and you have a dream vacation.
Okay, it’s been a little while since I’ve mentioned our local wonders. And let’s be honest – we have the best local wonders I can think of. Why? Because the Northern coast is beautiful, clean, clear, and great for surfing. Because the center of the island contains a glorious mountain with hiking trails and a zipline course for your enjoyment. Because the West has a canyon unlike anything you have seen before. And because we are fiercely proud of all of these things, the things that make Kauai one of the best places to visit in all of the world.
I guess I’m bragging a bit. But it’s all true.
Hanalei Bay is a beautiful crescent beach of white sand against stunning ocean blues. Just look in any tour book and you will see just how popular it is. The Bay is backed by the tropical foliage and lushness of the nearby mountains, giving this particular beach a view that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. The beach itself is clean and free of debris, a perfect crescent shape of sand on surf. The waters are clear, allowing you to see far into their depths, and the natural wonder of the area is enhanced by the tropical weather and perfect surf of the bay. In essence, people typically come to Kauai to see Hanalei Bay, the one of the most popular landmarks we have.
But it’s not the only landmark. Have you heard of Waimea Canyon? Like the Grand Canyon on the continental United States, Waimea Canyon is a large division in the landscape of Kauai. Located near the Western shore, the canyon is a beautiful example of Mother Nature’s sense of wonder. The canyon itself is 10 miles long and 3,000 feet deep, and it is lovely known as the Grand Canyon the of Pacific. And, from our local Waimea Canyon State Park, you can have the perfect view of our canyon and the breathtaking vistas that follow.
And from the depths of the canyon, look up to see the highest mountain peaks. We have a series of peaks on our small island, the tallest of which is Kawaikini. This peak stands at 5,243 feet and is a beautiful sight to behold. Of course, while this peak is the tallest, it is not the peak that has become most familiar for tourists. Mount Waialeale is the second highest peak, standing at 5,148 feet. This peak is the one typically associated with the island, as it stands near the center of Kauai. And, of course, all of our mountainous peaks are covered with lush vegetation, common to tropical climates. This makes Kauai a beautiful and green paradise for flora, fauna, and tourists alike.
As you can see, we have every type of landmark for each elevation! We seriously have the most eclectic island of landmarks in the Hawaiian chain, so come and visit us and see them for yourself! You’ll be glad that you did.
Okay, as we all know, there are some pretty interesting national holidays on the calendar. For instance, there is National Talk Like a Pirate Day on the 19th of September every year. (And you can all thank me right now that I didn’t post some of my pirate rantings that day. There is also National Pancake Day, National Squirrel Day, and many more odd little holidays through-out the year.
So when I say “National Museum Day,” I’m sure you are all thinking it amounts to the same thing. Like National Squirrel Day, it’s a day that no one really notices and few people celebrate. But that simply isn’t true. National Museum Day is an annual event here on Kauai hosted by the Grove Farm Museum. And free admission is offered to anyone who visits that museum between 10am and 3pm on that day.
So when is National Museum Day? Well, it’s Saturday, September 29! That’s right – it’s coming up! So if you have never been to Grove Farm (or if you have been and want to come again), Saturday is the day to go.
Admission will be free that day, with tours of the plantation and outer buildings going all day. Also, there will be a free train ride available, a ride on a real railroad cane car pulled by a genuine Grove Farm Plantation steam locomotive! Kids of all ages will enjoy this ride, along with the other activities a plantation museum has to offer.
So come and visit the Grove Farm for National Museum Day. OR, if you are staying in Hanalei and you don’t want to drive there, the 1836 Waioli Mission House will also be participating in National Museum Day with free tours of the missionary home. What a great opportunity to see some of Kauai’s history for free!
Have you ever been talking with a friend or new acquaintance about going on vacation and been embarrassed about your idea of a vacation in comparison with theirs? You know, the people who vacation at a villa in the South of France and look down on you when you talk about your family camping trip or plans to visit Hawaii? Well, now you can match them villa for villa by staying at Hanalei Bay Villa 11 on your next trip to Kauai.
Unlike a villa in the South of France, a Hanalei Bay villa is only $1,050/week! So you get all of the villa experience for a quarter of the cost they will spend on their accommodations. Plus, you get to come here to the most beautiful place on earth: the Garden Isle. Every morning, you can have breakfast in your own private breakfast nook and gaze out over the lush vegetation, beautiful mountain slopes, and crystal clear ocean waters. Sounds good, right?
Hanalei Bay Villa 11 is just a short walk to the beach, so you and your kids can visit the sandy oceanfront each and every day if you want. Need some groceries to make dinner in your private, fully-equipped kitchen? Well, you are also a short walk away from town where you will find stores and quite a few restaurants, in case you decide not to cook. And with a master bedroom containing a king-sized bed, a private bathroom, a private patio, and a television, you can enjoy some much-needed alone time with your spouse each and every night after the kids are asleep.
This villa sleeps 4 comfortably and is perfect for a small family. Plus, at only $1050 a week, you’ll be able to afford some souvenirs before you leave. And just think about how you can brag to your snobby friends about the lovely villa, breathtaking scenery, and luxury amenities knowing the whole time that you spent FAR less than they ever could on a vacation.
If you are free this Tuesday evening and are planning on visiting Kauai, can I recommend a workshop for you? It is called “A Future Without Fear” and is taught by Jay Chodagam. But unlike other workshops where you listen to a speaker, in this workshop you will be taught the Ancient Art of Raja Yoga Meditation.
Now, I’ve never done Raja Yoga before, so I don’t actually know what’s coming. However, a friend of mine who lives in San Francisco cannot recommend this man enough. According to my friend, fear is something that can be overcome in our mind. This yoga exercise will teach you how to control your fear and handle it instead of running from it. It changed her life, and it could change yours.
So, Tuesday (August 28) from 6:30-8:00pm, come and join us at Hanalei Bluff to learn how to overcome your fears. This workshop is free of charge and might just change how you live. Plus, who couldn’t use a little exercise, right? ☺
Okay, now many will argue with this, but I think the best way to see the North Shore of Kauai is on a bike. Go ahead. Call me crazy. But if you think about it, I’m right. Helicopters are awesome, but they cost a fortune. Horses are nice, but they poop. Cars go fast, but you can’t fully appreciate the sights and smells around you from a car. And walking isn’t any fun at all. So why not bike?
If you are staying on the North Shore, there is a bike rental place called Coconut Coasters that can give you a good deal on a bike rental. They have several options, including renting by the hour or rental by the day or half day. Plus, you can get any type of bike you need.
My fiancée and I love to bike around the area, and before we had our own bikes we would rent a tandem bike (aka. a bicycle built for two). We could be gone an entire day for only $45. We would pack up a picnic and bike to a deserted beach, spreading out a blanket and enjoying the tropical sunshine. But you might be more practical than romantic, so it’s important to note that they have single rider bikes as well. ☺
In fact, they have many different designs and styles from mountain bikes to classic beach cruisers. And they have several sizes for each type of bike, so you can find something to fit your height. They also have kids bikes and those little trailers that parents use for infants and toddlers. So you can take your whole family out for a bike ride if you want to.
Honestly, I’ve seen many families pile into rental cars and drive around the island to different points of interest. And while the destinations might be fun, the kids typically hate being in the car. So why not take the boredom out of your adventure and ride some bikes? The kids will love it and you’ll get some exercise while you’re at it.
I can’t believe this year has gone by so quickly! And now, once again, we find ourselves at the Hawaii Sand Festival and Sand Art Contest! If you read my blog regularly, you’ll remember me talking about this contest last year. While I had entered the contest with my friends the year before, I was unable to do so last year. Yet still I went to the festival and had a wonderful time!
The sand art was lovely. I couldn’t believe some of the awesome things that people built. I saw wonderful sandcastles from residents and tourists alike, and even the entrance sign was made entirely out of sand! I wish you could have seen it. On the plus side, if you missed the sand festival last year, you can always come and see if this year!
This event, as always, is free for everyone, even the competitors. So if you want to come and built a sand castle or art piece while listening to the live music, come visit Hanalei from 11am-4pm on Saturday, August 11th. Individuals can participate as well as teams, and separate prizes will be given to the best sand art in multiple categories from kids to groups to individual men and women. And you can take a free lesson on sand creations from world-renowned sand sculpture Jeff Peterson. (The free lesson starts at 11:30am.)
Now, if you want to participate, I recommend coming to the beach early. There will be many teams and registration starts at 11am. Also, bring all of your own equipment from shovels and pails to molds and tools. Oh and shade! The first year I participated, we didn’t bring any shade and got SO burnt from the sun. So bring a beach umbrella, hats, sunscreen, LOTS of water, and anything else you can think of. Last year, I took a picnic lunch to my friends who were building some sand art, so that’s always an idea as well.
The final judging for sand art will be at 3:30, with the awards ceremony started at 4pm. So come and enjoy a day of fun in the sand! You just might win something.
Do you want a lovely vacation rental home inside of a famous resort with all the amenities you’d expect from resort life for half of what you will pay for a nice hotel? Yeah, I thought so. So here is some information on Hanalei Bay Resort 2309.
The Hanalei Bay Resort has a set of seriously nice condos on-site. These condos are spacious, beautiful, and modern, a great backdrop for a trip to Kauai. And at only $900 for a week in condo 2309, it’s hard to say no.
Of course, like the other condo units in this resort, there are amenities like a community pool, tennis courts, and a short walking trail to the ocean! In this particular 2-story condo unit, you will find everything you need for a pleasant stay. There is a master bedroom upstairs, complete with a television for late night movies. Downstairs, there is a large living room for family time, a bathroom, a kitchen with all of the equipment you’ll need for basic cooking, and another bedroom.
So what you’re getting is a home-away-from-home with bedrooms, a private bathroom, a kitchen, and a living area inside of a popular resort for less than you would pay for a nice hotel room. Can you see any down side?
I have written for a few years now about how silly it is to stay in a hotel or an expensive resort when so many beautiful vacation condos and homes are available on our island. Seriously, why get stuck in one room with a bed and a million neighbors when you can have an entire house to yourself for (often times) far less money than a hotel would cost. But in all that time, I have had a pervasive argument from the other side, that small group of vacationers who simply have one thing to say about my ideas: “But I want to stay in a resort.”
Okay then! I can understand the desire to tell your friends that you stayed in a nice resort on the island of Kauai. There is a certain additional status you receive from your listeners when they hear the word “resort” that some vacationers don’t want to do without. That’s fine. So in keeping with that desire, I have decided to recommend to you Hanalei Bay Resort 2310.
If you want to stay in a resort, this is the one to choose. You will still have the freedom to do as you please without hindrance as you would with a vacation home, though I admit there will be less space. Plus, you will get all of the benefits that resort stay often brings. Let’s discuss them.
For one thing, this particular part of the resort is one room with one bathroom, which will be perfect for a single couple or a small family who wants a true resort feel. The price is only $630/week, which is amazing when compared to the competition, and you will have your own private lanai. Plus, this resort offers other amenities you might find advantageous.
The unit itself has air conditioning, so the humid weather of our tropical island won’t bother you in the summer months. Plus, there are 2 swimming pools on-site for those who don’t want to take the short walk down the paved path to the beach. There are 8 tennis courts, so you can feel free to play at your leisure, and if you run out of things to do (which is pretty near impossible on this side of the island), there is cable television to watch.
But perhaps the greatest thing about this resort is the garden feel to the surroundings. You will be constantly surrounded by lush vegetation, beautiful flowers, and tropical gardens. If you have never stepped out into a tropical garden before, let me explain that it is a wondrous sensation for the eyes, the ears, and the nose, as you bring all of your senses to bare on this luscious wonderland. The Hanalei Bay Resort is one of the prettiest cultivated lodging places on Kauai, and therefore I can recommend it fully, even if I would personally still prefer a small house away from prying eyes myself.
If you come to Kauai, one of the first things you’ll want to do is swim in our crystal clear waters, especially if you are staying near the Hanalei Bay. Why? Well, the Hanalei Bay is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Kauai and, in my opinion, the world. With the beautiful crescent shape of the white sandy beach, the towering mountains of lush foliage as the backdrop, and the blue shining waters of the ocean, you will find no better swimming spot in all of Kauai.
But what if you are a professional swimmer who wants a bit of a challenge? Well, look no further. I cannot offer you an iron man competition, but I can offer you the 6th annual Hanalei Open Water Swim on Saturday, July 28th!
In this event, youth and adults will be given the option of swimming a ½ mile ($35 entry fee) or 1-2 miles (entry fee $40) in the open waters of the bay, with a professional timer on hand to give you your official time when you reach the finish. The swimming will start on the Hanalei Pier at 9am, but registration for this event starts at 8am. (You can also go online to this website and register there.)
At the end of the event, awards will be given to the best swimmers in their category, shirts will be handed to participants, and food will be sold for the on-lookers and hungry contestants. It should be an interesting morning of fun, exercise, and a bit of challenge. So if you are interested, come and join us and see what your best time will be!
Okay, can I be a girl for just a minute? I have been wedding planning for a while now, slowing since our date is still out a ways. Anyway, I stumbled across this wedding and event design company (aka florist) and was wonderful if any of my Kauai buddies had ever used them.
The company is North Shore Buds & Blooms, and I really like what I’m seeing so far. They did a wedding my friend was in a little while ago, and she said that all of the arrangements were beautiful. But she didn’t know much more than that. I know that the flowers were on the tables, in the bouquets, and even on the cake! And the pictures were lovely.
Their website has a lot of great pictures featuring the arrangements they offer, like wedding arches for the ceremony and bouquets for the bridesmaids. And I like the fact that they use native plants, making each space look elegant yet simple. That is kind-of what I’m going for. But I want more information.
So, if someone on Kauai wants to post a comment or two about this company, that would be great. And if someone else who is planning to get married before me (unofficial date is January) and needs a florist, can you check out their site, hire them, and then tell me how they did? That would be great. Thanks. ☺
Want to go to a concert for only $20? Are you going to be on Kauai for one of the Sundays this month? Do you enjoy Slack Key Guitar?
If you have answered yes to these questions, then come and visit the Hanalei Community Center at 3pm during a Sunday this month and listen to a slack key and ukulele concert. There will be a different theme each Sunday afternoon (this week is Menehune Moonrise), but the same two artists will be performing each time: Doug and Sandy McMaster. And every Sunday there will also be a free prize drawing for those in attendance.
According to what I’ve heard, everyone who is over the age of 12 has really liked it. There are typically quite a few positive comments from residents and visitors alike. Plus, the community center is right here in Hanalei, which makes it easy to find and simple to get to. (Turn left on Malolo Road, which is an access road on the edge of the soccer fields and Waioli Park. Malolo Road is about a block past the shopping center. The parking lot is on the left and is gravel. The building is brown.)
So come and hear some beautiful melodies and feel the music of Aloha.
Have you heard of Duffy Bishop? Well, if you are a fan of the Blues, then you should have. She is in the Blues Hall of Fame, after all, and will be here on Kauai on Friday, January 27th, for a show!
Starting at 8pm, Duffy Bishop will be playing at the Tahiti Nui Luau room in Hanalei!! While many artists, local and otherwise, often come through Kauai on a tour or just to visit, I think I am the most excited about hearing her. After all, she is a woman with such amazing talent that she has been nominated for a Grammy. Plus, she’s just plain fun to watch.
Her music is a combination of Blues, R&B, and Rock, and everything she does has this dynamic quality that is so rare amongst artists today. So if you’re staying on the North side of the island on the 27th, come to Hanalei for an awesome concert. Seats are only $20 a person and, believe me, the price is SO worth it.